The launch and maintenance of a small business requires a great deal of time, patience, and capital. Though many aspiring business owners have the first two qualities in abundance, the last asset is harder to secure. Fortunately, there is a great deal of advice and a range of funding options available for those who believe they have the knowledge and the skills necessary for commercial success.
Ethel Nyembe, Head of Small Enterprises at Standard Bank, says most, if not all, entrepreneurs rely on lenders to provide the capital they need to open and maintain a business. This money will be used to cover the start-up cost of the enterprise, and also the operating costs, because it may take several months before you start turning a profit.
Below are the different types of funding for entrepreneurs to consider:
Khula, the government’s small business finance agency, offers what is known as a credit guarantee scheme. The scheme guarantees that the bank will be paid in the event that the business owner defaults on their obligation: up to 50% to 90% of the bank loan can be indemnified. The maximum amount that can be approved under the scheme is R3 million.
To qualify for a Khula-supported loan, you will need to invest some of your own capital or resources. This may be as much as 10% of the amount you want to borrow, and can be either cash or equipment.
2. Business Partners and Seda
Business Partners and the Small Enterprise and Development Agency (Seda) fund entrepreneurs, but they generally work with established businesses that want to expand.
3. Buying a franchise
The cost of a franchise ranges from R50 000 to millions. Many organisations let you pay part of the franchise costs out of profits, but they still require a large deposit.
Not all franchises are equal, and there are some unscrupulous operators who are simply in the business of collecting franchise fees.
Before you sign on the dotted line, call some existing franchise holders and find out about the average turnover, working hours and if the franchisor is keeping up their end of the bargain. Your bank is a valuable resource in this area, as they have specialised teams to deal with franchise banking.
If you do decide to invest in a franchise, follow these basic rules:
- Consider partnering with someone you trust and with whom you work well. Not only will this spread the risk, you’ll know the company is in good hands when you’re away.
- Get a lawyer to look at the contract.
- Ask the franchisor what the rules are if you want to sell your franchise to a third party.
- Ask to see their training manuals. If they don’t exist, reconsider the deal.
- Get a breakdown of the costs involved and proof that the concern is solvent.
- If you are unsure of the quality of the deal being offered, call the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) on: 011 484 1285.
A business plan is the cornerstone of a business. It articulates your objectives and focuses challenges and opportunities. With a business plan, you could possibly approach private investors. A good business plan is non-negotiable when approaching the bank for finance.
You may have a great product or service, but it takes time to accumulate income. You should have at least six months’ worth of living expenses in the bank in addition to your start-up capital. If the first months are lean, at least you won’t be worrying about your regular expenses.
Plan to eliminate all of your short-term debt and a big part of your long-term debt. The less you are forced to take funds from the business, the more capital you will have to grow it.
If you are approached for funding
If you are approached for funding by a friend or family member, ask them for a business plan and about their financial situation. Ask a lot of questions and assess if they have the right skills for the venture.
If you decide to lend money or invest for equity, you should:
- Be able to afford the investment to the point where if the business failed, it would not compromise your financial future;
- Draw up an official legal document stating what your role is; what their role is and their obligations to you, should the business fail or succeed.
- Be prepared to lose your money; and
- Be prepared to lose a friendship if you have not managed expectations on both sides of the transaction.
“Whether you are running a start-up or funding it, don’t be afraid to ask your business banker for help; they may have resources and ideas that can assist you in achieving your ambition,” says Nyembe. “While a nine-to-five job will give you security and a regular pay cheque, the rewards of being a business owner are worth the extra effort.”
How SMPs Can Support Businesses Looking To Internationalise
Key findings from a new global research report from ACCA suggest Small and Medium Sized Accounting Practices (SMPs) recognise many of the key challenges and opportunities that internationalising SMEs face in today’s global economy. This provides them with an excellent platform towards providing additional value-added support to clients.
Much has been written in recent years about how SMPs are experiencing a growing number of commercial challenges that are disrupting the client services they have traditionally relied upon for revenue.
Equally, many have argued that more SMPs need to consider whether diversification into new advisory services could be the key towards the sector’s future success. However, such change can be difficult when talent flows in the sector are uncertain and competition is fierce.
Whilst not appropriate for everyone, ACCA was therefore interested to explore whether international trade is one area where SMPs’ unique experience and expertise might lead to the development of new service provision.
Our findings suggest that many SMPs are equipped with an excellent platform towards providing additional value-added support to clients. However, despite SMPs stating that most of their clients had been involved in some form of international activity over the last three years, their current provision of relevant support remains highly focused around a small number of limited areas.
The new report, Growing Globally – How SMPs can support international ambitions, also revealed the following about internationalisation and the relevant advice landscape for SMEs.
Although the research was global, specific findings from five key markets have also been extracted and presented. These markets are Ireland, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore and the UK. They were selected on the basis of their representation of markets in various stages of economic development, and their global and regional importance to international trade.
SME internationalisation today
- Just under half (45%) of SMEs said the main benefit of internationalisation was access to new customers in foreign markets. Increased profitability (35%), faster business growth (33%) and access to new business networks (30%) followed.
- Both SMEs and SMPs considered ease of doing business and high growth potential as the most important factors when choosing an export destination. Geography was seen as less important, which may be a result of new technologies reducing its significance as a perceived barrier.
- Both SMEs and SMPs recognised foreign regulations as the most significant barrier to internationalisation. For SMEs, the second most important was competition (27%) though for SMPs it was foreign customs duties.
- In terms of the future, SMEs’ international ambitions are focused on building the capacity of their business (45%), building networks in foreign markets (45%) and introducing or developing more products and services to market (44%).
The advice landscape
- A wide breadth of professional advice and support is used by internationalising SMEs, who tend to reach out to different sources as they move along their internationalisation journeys. Government or relevant public agencies (39%) are the most widely used source of professional advice, closely followed by lawyers (35%) and then banks (33%).
- Accountants are most likely to be used by SMEs when looking for support on international tax, regulatory compliance, foreign exchange and accessing external finance.
- Only 9% of SMPs said they had no clients who had been involved in any international trade activities over the last 3 years. Importing and exporting activities were the most common, as was participating in broader international supply chain networks.
- SMPs mainly rely on internal and informal resources when advising clients about internationalisation. However, this gradually shifts towards a reliance on more external and formalised resources as practices grow in employee size.
- Just under half (47%) were not members of any networking organisation, potentially missing out on valuable resources that could enable the development of more effective forms of international support.
Using these findings, ACCA conducted a series of interviews and roundtables with SMPs and SMEs globally. The subsequent insights were used to develop recommendations on how practices can look to develop their international advisory provision.
- Specialisation is key – For those developing their international advisory provision, it is vital to first identify an area of the market where you believe your practice has the opportunity to effectively develop its expertise, resources and intelligence to best suit the needs of your clients. SMEs’ demands for international advice vary according to sector and size of business. Building a market focus is more likely to make any future expansion of international support more achievable and successful.
- Adopt a strategic mindset – Identifying where you could best add value in terms of international support requires SMPs to think strategically and embark on initial planning and research. The best place to start is with existing clients rather than prospective ones, as they provide a readily accessible (and more approachable) evidence base to explore where demand is likely to be greatest. Making efforts to understand your clients’ internationalisation needs can then help you shape your wider international advisory offering.
- Expand your international network – Networks are integral for the development of new professional advisory services but particularly with regards to internationalisation. This is because global value chains often necessitate close and efficient coordination of activities between businesses. SMPs should therefore aspire to become the central referral point for clients looking to find the most appropriate source of professional advice.
- Invest in professional development – Practices must have highly skilled staff with the appropriate intellectual knowledge for clients to recognise the value in the services offered. Creating a structured programme of learning activities for staff around international trade could be useful for SMPs looking to upscale their international advisory provision. This could involve introducing formal learning activities across more technical areas of international trade (such as tax, compliance and foreign exchange) as well as working with other firms to develop knowledge networks where staff can learn, collaborate and access good practice.
As SMEs continue to seek new ways of engaging in international trade, partly brought about by developments in technology, practices are being presented with opportunities to develop and widen their international advisory provision.
For some SMPs providing additional support to clients involved in international markets will not be feasible or practical. Nonetheless it is important for all practices to continue recognising the changing realities of how SMEs are operating globally.
The key challenge in taking advantage of such opportunities is centred on the risks that inevitably come with the business model optimisation required to provide new and relevant client services.
Digital Options With Olymp Trade – Online Trading Made Simple
Remember that communicating with others makes progress easier, so feel free to share with your fellow-traders any time and increase chances of your success!
Innovation in trading – is gain without pain possible?
In our modern age, trading has helped a lot of people earn handsomely. However, originally it was a complex exercise, involving a considerable investment of time and financial resources to understand the market. That has restricted its acceptance among people who wish to trade but have a busy schedule and limited budget.
The problem seems to have been solved to a great extent with digital options – a special form of a financial instrument. While it requires relatively less time to learn, it also reduces the risk exposure, which accounts for the growing popularity of digital options. With this type of trading, your investment amount doesn’t have to be equal to the underlying asset’s market price. So, even if the minimum price of a stock index unit is $100, you can take an exposure of just $1 on this.
A platform, which has achieved loyalty of over 16 mln. customers, despite being a late market entrant, is Olymp Trade. The company provides particular ease of use and a comprehensive educational kit, so we will use this example to explain how digital options work.
Olymp Trade – a closer look at digital options
This type of trading requires an investor to anticipate the price movement of the underlying asset in a short term. On the Olymp Trade platform the asset range includes currency pairs, commodities, cryptocurrency, various stock indices and some individual stocks. A trader would then need to place an “Up” or “Down” call relative to the strike price, without having to bother about how far the price would move. You are also required to specify the time limit for keeping the trade open – it is called expiration time, and could last from 1 minute to several hours.
Since there is no need to gauge the extent of movement, analysis of parameters like where to put ‘stop loss’ or when to book profit is not necessary – and this makes the process so much simpler. Profitability per each trade is always known beforehand, and with Olymp Trade it may reach 80-90%. Another essential point is that a trade could be sold back to the market, if the trend behaviour contradicts your forecast. This flexible approach allows to recover some of the invested money, if it’s not possible to lock in profits.
Developing a strategy that works
Since options is only intraday, fundamental analysis has almost no relevance. As a result, most of the trading happens employing technical charts. Yet, you cannot ignore the opportunity to trade based on news flow, which could actually generate higher returns than technical analysis. So, even if you are not connected with, say, Australia but sudden floods have caused huge supply disruption in the country, you could place a ‘Down‘ trade on AUD. However, one needs to be careful when analyzing the news. For instance, even if the employment figure is higher than last month, the currency could lose sharply – in case it is lower than expectations. Conversely, even if the GDP growth is negative, the currency could see a rebound if it has survived the crisis with minor damage.
The other benefit of news-based trading is that you can earn multiple times with the same news or insight. For instance, if you think dollar is going to rise substantially over the next few hours due to Fed’s move, you can place an ‘Up’ trade with a five-minute time frame. After this trade has expired, you can put another trade with the same ‘Up’ position if your judgment has turned out correctly and you still expect the price trend to continue.
Another asset class that has gained lot of limelight recently is cryptocurrencies. They are highly volatile – and this is tricky on one hand, but lucrative on the other. Olymp Trade gives you an opportunity to trade in crypto while keeping your risks limited.
Using Olymp Trade for crypto saves you the hassle of opening another account, which is usually time-consuming and involves several verification processes. More importantly, you would have to disclose a lot of personal information, which may not be very attractive proposition because the crypto-industry is still evolving. As for reliability and security, which is vitally important in trading (no matter crypto or traditional assets), Olymp Trade can guarantee it all – the company’s activities are supervised by the International Financial Commission.
The chart below gives an idea of Bitcoin price movement on a typical day. One can see clearly that there is sufficient volatility in the price to make money here.
While you cannot own or store crypto with Olymp Trade, you can certainly earn from its price movement. The platform offers a dozen different cryptocurrencies to trade, including the top ones like Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, the returns generated for this asset class vary substantially: from 10% to 80%. You also need to note that these returns keep varying all time through. So, if you traded on an asset generating 80% return at a particular time, please confirm the offered returns when placing the next trade – as it may not be the same.
How can I really profit, if I choose trading options?
We have mentioned different trading methods – from the time-tested assets to the modern-day cryptocurrencies – and it only makes the tip of the iceberg.
In order to understand the process more deeply and start profiting, one should have a systematic approach to learning. But of course your self-study should be based on trustworthy sources. We recommend taking a look at the Olymp Trade’s “Education” section, where one can find well-structured lessons and webinars dedicated to trading. The platform provides a free demo account, so the users can put their new skills into practice straight away. The benefit here is working with platform features without depositing real money. Use virtual currency for demo trading, and take as much time as you need before getting ready to open real deals for real profits.
Online trading is a very popular kind of business nowadays. If you visit Olymp Trade page on Facebook, you will find a lot of proof to that, meeting people for whom trading has become one of the main pursuits in life. Remember that communicating with others makes progress easier, so feel free to share with your fellow-traders any time and increase chances of your success!
3 Companies With Memorable Slogans, And How To Create Your Own
Three companies that have enjoyed these benefits as a result of creating memorable business slogans are Nike, Carlsberg, and Apple. Let’s look at each one now.
A good slogan serves many valuable roles in business. First, it reinforces recognition of your brand. After hearing it a few times, your consumer instantly thinks of you when hearing it again. If it’s catchy enough, they may even find themselves saying or singing it in their head, reinforcing your brand even more.
Slogans also share a little bit about your company. For instance, if your slogan is funny, it says you have a sense of humor. If it contains your goal or mission, it tells the consumer what is important to you. Some slogans share the problems the company is trying to solve or the consumer its trying to help, making it easier to identify the target market.
Finally, a slogan sets you apart from your competitors. It differentiates you from all of the other companies who offer similar services to you. And if it’s memorable enough, it puts you ahead of them in your consumer’s minds.
Three companies that have enjoyed these benefits as a result of creating memorable business slogans are Nike, Carlsberg, and Apple. Let’s look at each one now.
Company #1: Nike – Just Do It
Though many people use Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ slogan as a reminder that they can do amazing things if they just put their mind to it, its author, Dan Wieden, reports that this line actually has a grim beginning.
In fact, it was an idea he derived from a statement made by Gary Gilmore, a double murderer who, before being executed by a firing squad exclaimed, “Let’s do it!” Still, it has stuck in consumer’s minds and is undoubtedly one of the most memorable slogans of all time.
Related: Registering a Trademark
Company #2: Carlsberg – That Calls for a Carlsberg
Initially, Carlsberg’s slogan was ‘probably the best beer in the world.’ Many consumers came to know and love this slogan; however, in 2011, the company rebranded and created a new slogan: ‘That Calls for a Carlsberg.” The goal of this new slogan, according to CEO Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen, was to encourage the consumer to do good things and then enjoy a Carlsberg after as a reward for a job well done. Both have stuck in the minds of consumers, albeit with some discrepancy as to which one is most preferred.
Company #3: Apple – Think Different
Apple is a company known for thinking (and creating) outside the lines, so its ‘Think Different’ slogan fits it perfectly. According to Rob Siltanen, creative director and managing partner at the company that helped design this Apple pitch, though there are many accounts of how this slogan was created, its true inventor is Craig Tanimoto. Siltanen says that Tanimoto came up with the idea to use black and white photos of some of the most revolutionary people and events of all time and, atop each one, simply display the words ‘Think Different.’ Catchy, right?
How to Create Your Own Memorable Slogan
These are just three examples of how creating a memorable slogan can help your company get — and stay — in the minds of your consumer. So, how do you come up with this type of campaign?
One option is to get some of your company’s best talent together and see what slogans you can come up with. Have everyone submit one or two ideas and talk them out. See if any jump out at you and, if not, use them to inspire you to come up with even more possible ideas.
Another alternative is using a slogan generator. This enables you to come up with a simple, memorable slogan using keywords related to your brand. Just go through the list and of results and see which ones stand out. You could even pick your top two or three and let your social media followers vote as to which one you should select.
If you find yourself at a dead end and unable to come up with a memorable slogan, or if you lack the creativity or the time, you can also hire a marketing firm to help. Give them a little insight about your company and see what slogans they create. It may cost you some money to take this route but, as companies like Nike, Carlsberg, and Apple have taught us, a good slogan can really propel your brand.
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